On the 20th of November, the UN and UNESCO will celebrate Universal Children’s Day. This day is "observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world."
This day marks the day of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. These conventions aim to protect the right to life, health, education, play and family life for children across the globe so that every child has the opportunity to be protected from violence and to have their voice heard without discrimination.
"The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard. "
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Universal children’s day is an important event to use dialogue and action together to promote children’s rights and create a safe environment so that every child has a fair start in life. Countries and charities around the world recognise this day as a way to promote the rights of children. Save the Children will hold an event on November 21st focusing on the theme ‘stop violence against children’.
This year World Toilet Day (19th November 2015) has also been linked to Universal Children’s day as 2.4 billion people across the world lack access to improve sanitation which has a huge impact on the start of a childs life. Diarrhoea cause by lack of water and sanitation facilities is the third biggest killer of children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa. Sesame Street’s WASH UP! Initiative aims to address the problems of WASH and promote meaningful sanitation and hygiene education. We need to address the problems facing Children to allow them to have the right star in life to survive and thrive.
Universal Children's Day will also allow the discussion of Children's rights in conjunction to the Sustainable Development Goals. Goals such as poverty reduction, health, education, sanitation and equality are all important not only for sustainable development but also for Children's rights and well-being.